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US spy satellite launch delayed a week after abort in final seconds – Space.com

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The launch of a new U.S. spy satellite on a massive Delta IV Heavy rocket has been delayed at least a week after a last-minute abort prevented an attempted liftoff early Saturday (Aug. 29). 

The abort occurred just three seconds before the planned launch of the clandestine NROL-44 satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 3:28 a.m. EDT (0728 GMT), according to the United Launch Alliance, which built the heavy-lift Delta IV Heavy. The rocket’s triple-core first stage briefly fired up its three main engines, engulfing the booster’s base in flames before flickering out in the abort. 

“3, 2, 1 and liftoff!” ULA commentator Dillon Rice said as the engines fired. A few seconds later, it was clear something went wrong as the Delta IV Heavy remained on the pad of its Space Launch Complex 37B. 

“And standby, we’ve obviously had a hotfire abort,” Dillon said.

Related: Meet the Delta rocket family of the United Launch Alliance 

[embedded content]

(Editor’s note: You can see the launch abort at the 1-hour, 44-minute mark in the ULA video above.)

Video from the launch pad showed exhaust billowing up the 235-foot-tall (72 meters) rocket after its engines shut down.

“The launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy carrying the NROL-44 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office was scrubbed today due to an unexpected condition during terminal count at approximately three seconds before liftoff,” representatives with ULA, which is a collaboration of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, said in a statement. “The team is currently reviewing all data and will determine the path forward. The required recycle time prior to the next launch attempt is seven days minimum.”

ULA president and CEO Tory Bruno said on Twitter that the Delta IV Heavy and its payload are in good shape.

“The bird is in good health,” Bruno wrote. “This was an automatic abort during the ignition sequence. Cause appears to have been in the ground system. System functioned as intended to protect the vehicle and payload.”

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The NROL-44 satellite on the Delta IV Heavy is a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, which oversees U.S. spy satellite operations. Its exact purpose and design are unknown. 

The Delta IV Heavy rocket is ULA’s most powerful booster and can launch payloads of up to 62,540 lbs. (28,370 kilograms) to low Earth orbit and satellites up to 30,440 lbs. (13,810 kg) to geostationary orbit.

Saturday’s launch abort is the second launch delay for the NROL-44 mission. A planned launch early Thursday (Aug. 27) was postponed due to an issue with ground equipment on the launch pad.

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Instagram.

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COVID-19 Today: School, child care cases for Newmarket, York Region, and Ontario – NewmarketToday.ca

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Newmarket (reported Friday, Sept. 25, at 5 p.m.)

Schools

  • 0 school-related cases
  • 0 schools closed

Licensed child care facilities

  • 0 child care centre cases
  • 0 child care centres closed

York Region (reported Frisday, Sept. 25, at 5 p.m.)

Schools

  • 1 school outbreaks*
    • Blue Willow, Woodbridge (1 student, 1 staff)
  • 0 schools closed
  • 12 confirmed cases
  • 7 students
  • 5 staff/visitors
  • 8 (-2) schools under surveillance**:
    • Carrville Mills (1 staff), in Thornhill
    • Little Rouge (1 student), in Markham;
    • St. Michael the Archangel (1 staff); Tommy Douglas Secondary (1 student), Our Lady of Fatima (1 staff), in Woodbridge;
    • Maple High (1 student), Dr. Roberta Bondar (1 student) in Maple
    • Kleinburg P.S. (1 student) in Kleinburg
  • Surveillance closed for Sir Wilfrid Laurier (1 staff) and J. Addison (1 student), in Markham

*An outbreak is declared when 2 or more cases are confirmed within a 14-day period, with at least one case acquired in the school

**Schools with a laboratory-confirmed case that was not transmitted within the school 

Licensed child care facilities

  • 4 child care centre outbreaks*
  • 2 active outbreaks
    • Childventures Early Learning Academy, Aurora (1 staff)
    • Montessori School House, Maple (1 child, 1 staff)
  • 1 case child
  • 4 cases staff/visitors

*An outbreak is declared with one or more confirmed case in children or staff

Ontario (reported Thursday, Sept. 24 at 10:30 a.m.):

Cases in schools

  • 238 (+29) school-related cases
  • 110 (+10) students; 50 (+10) staff
  • 78 (+9) individuals not identified 
  • 198 (+20) of 4,828 schools with a case (4.10%)
  • 2 schools closed
    • Fellowes High School, Pembroke (1 student, 4 staff cases)
    • Monsignor Paul Baxter Catholic School, Ottawa (2 students, 2 staff)

Cases in child care centres and homes

  • 109 (+2) cases at child care centres and homes
  • 54 (+2) children
  • 55 staff
  • 36 (-1) of 5,111 child care centres with current cases (0.70%)
  • 10 (-1) child care centres currently closed (.20%)

York Region Public Health reminds parents and guardians to check your child daily for symptoms of COVID-19. For more information and resources, including how to protect yourself and others, visit york.ca/SafeAtSchool
 
You can download Canada’s COVID Alert in Apple and Google app stores or visit ontario.ca/covidalert

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A dazzling full 'harvest moon' is set to illuminate Vancouver skies next week – Vancouver Is Awesome

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While the weekend forecast calls for rain, Vancouver skies are expected to clear next week, which is just in time for the glorious full Harvest moon. 

Earlier this month, locals were treated to a full corn moon. Last year, September’s full moon was a full ‘harvest moon,’ which takes place in two years out of three. However, since October’s full moon falls closest to the fall equinox this year, it will carry the harvest title. 

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, “this full Moon name is attributed to Native Americans because it marked the time when corn was supposed to be harvested.”

The Harvest Moon gets was given its name because farmers needed its silvery light to harvest crops. It has since inspired a rather dreamy, beautiful song by Canadian icon Neil Young, too.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac also notes that Native peoples would give distinctive names to each reoccurring full moon to mark the change of seasons. As such, many of these names arose when Native Americans first interacted with colonialists. 

The October moon will be at its fullest in Vancouver on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 2:05 p.m. 

Stargazers should opt to travel as far away from city lights as possible in order to avoid light pollution that will obscure the clarity of heavenly bodies. While this works best in more remote places, anywhere that has a higher elevation will also provide more ideal viewing conditions.

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Dozens of McGill students living in student neighbourhood test positive for COVID-19 – Yahoo News Canada

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Dozens of students at McGill University are testing positive for COVID-19 according to their peers, but the university is not counting most of those cases in its official tally, because they happened off-campus.

Jacob Rothery, a student living in the so-called McGill ghetto in Montreal’s Milton Park neighbourhood next to the university, tested positive for COVID-19 this week. So did his three roommates.

Rothery says he knows of at least 20 other students who tested positive, and suspects more numbers are going to come from the popular and crowded student neighbourhood.

“There were a decent amount of students going to student bars,” he said. “And then on top of that, you don’t necessarily know who the people that you think you’re in your bubble with are seeing, so they could be seeing a bunch of other people, who are putting themselves in riskier situations.” 

Rothery says he and his friends did not violate public health guidelines, but that didn’t stop an outbreak in his group of friends.

“People may have had it, but had no symptoms. So they had no reason to get tested. And then you have gatherings that aren’t that big, maybe fifteen people or 10, but those 10 people see other people and their bubbles are a lot bigger than they think they are,” he said. 

Submitted by Jacob Rothery

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Submitted by Jacob Rothery

Thom Haghighat is another McGill student who is self-isolating, after he and his roommate tested positive for COVID-19.

He figures he caught the virus from one of the students returning to the “ghetto” from Toronto or elsewhere in Montreal.

Haghighat says he also knows of at least 25 students living in the area who tested positive, with a dozen in his immediate group of friends.

Like Rothery, Haghighat says he and his friends were limiting personal gatherings and keeping a small circle of people to interact with.

Despite this, he said, he still saw cases rise among his peers in the past week. He believes false negatives are part of the problem. 

“The first time we got tested, we tested negative. We still self-isolated, but I know a lot of people who would think they were in the clear to go see other people,” he said, noting that he knew others who also got false negatives. 

Rothery had also received a false negative test result earlier this week, before testing positive.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Only "on-campus" numbers” data-reactid=”45″>Only “on-campus” numbers

Despite these anecdotal reports, McGill University has officially recorded just six COVID-19 cases this week on campus, and says there is no evidence of community transmission on its campuses.

McGill’s main campus is downtown. The Macdonald campus, which houses agricultural and nutrition programs among others, is in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue in the West Island.

A spokesperson for the university said the number includes staff and students who were present on campus in the week preceding their positive COVID test. 

Most classes at McGill have moved online, which means far fewer people are frequenting the campus. 

Justin Hayward/CBCJustin Hayward/CBC

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Justin Hayward/CBC

Some students say the university should include the numbers of students who test positive off-campus, as well.

“It’s important for them to at least take responsibility for the things that are going on in their student body, whether or not they’re technically on campus, because I think that distinction is pretty useless,” said Rothery.

For its part, McGill says it is working with public health authorities on strict protocols to limit the spread.

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